Monday, February 20, 2012

Isles Lose to Sens: Frustration Evident

Because I could not watch the game, I asked fellow Islander Blogger Joe Bondi from to do a guest post for me.  I had no idea the game would be one we would like to forget. 

He did an excellent job covering the details of a game that Jack will find plenty of video to play over-and-over-and-over for the boys.  Because those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

From KnightOfCups:

Today’s game was what you would call a 4-point game. This meant a win would get the Isles 2 points while taking away a possible 2 points from a team they are chasing. With every win, the Islanders also keep the advantage of 1-2 games at hand over the teams they are fighting against to make the playoffs with 58 games played, as of this afternoon.

The Ottawa Senators are such a team.

Your New York Islanders came into today’s game against Ottawa looking in from outside of the playoff picture by only 6 points in 12th position. The same Senators sat at the seventh position in the Eastern Conference, 10 points ahead of New York with Ottawa riding a 3-0-1 record in their last 4 games. Could the Islanders continue to improve and climb over .500?


Actually, since the start of the game where the Islanders soft play in their own defensive zone yielded a bad, no-angle short side goal at just 1:08 and a second soft goal shortly after that at 1:35 by starter Kevin Poulin, you knew what was coming. The Isles would have another game in which they failed to compete and looked as if they were, in the words of coach Capuano, “passengers.”

Within the first two minutes of the biggest game of the season thus far for New York, the Isles were down 2-0 and being out-shot 7-1. Their sloppy play resulted in so many continuous turnovers and giveaways; they looked completely demoralized as a team before the first period was even half way over. Should we blame the infamous third jerseys? I say no. After all – to name a few reasons - the effort of John Tavares and Frans Nielsen was there, the score was not all Kevin Poulin’s fault and Al Montoya could come in and refocus his team en-route to a storybook comeback, right?


The Islanders continued to turn over the puck and even when Michael Grabner was able to explode into a short handed breakaway, he failed to get a shot on goal and that ended up indirectly resulting in a third goal by the Senators going back the other way.

P.A. Parenteau, who would have a tough game despite never quitting on his team, would be called with an unsportsmanlike conduct when he reacted to the non-calls he felt the Islanders were due. The Islanders would leave the ice after the first to a chorus of boos from their home crowd. In this writer’s opinion, they could have really used Trevor Gillies in that period to stir things up.

During the first shift of the second period, the Isles turned over the puck and the Sens rung a shot off the Isles post. Things would only get worse. The Senators would make it 4-0 on a delay of game call against Steve Staios. The Isles continued to play undisciplined and sloppy throughout the period keeping Ottawa knee deep in scoring chances from untimely turnovers allowed by the defense. The Isles were being out shot by a margin of 21-9 midway through game. Craig Anderson had an easy game in net for the Senators.

Matt Martin took on Zach Smith and the crowd of 15,818 finally showed signs of coming back to life. Perhaps the Isles could have been more into the game by finishing their checks and playing a more physical game against a Senators team that appeared to be getting far too comfortable. Instead, Ottawa continued to press and hit a cross bar and goal post while the Islanders continued to play from back on their heels. The Islanders continued to struggle while negating power plays with penalties of their own. The Isles were jeered even louder after the period mercifully expired as they made their way to the locker room. New York was being out shot 27-10 at the end of the second period.

Although the tempo in the third period had slowed for both teams, the Islanders put forth a better effort, but it was far too late in the 3rd period to matter. Ottawa made it 5-0 with a long range shot from the point. P.A. Parenteau showed more frustration from all the non-calls missed by the officials and probably just from the full weight of the afternoon in general. He was given a game misconduct and got ejected after his stick was shattered from a slash in front of the Senators’ goal. Ottawa made it 6-0 as a result of the power play goal.

The Islanders finished the game being dominated and embarrassed.

Ottawa out shot the Islanders by a margin of 32-28. Kevin Poulin was 3-5 with a .600 Sv% before being pulled in favor of Al Montoya. Montoya went 23-27 and an .852 Sv% in relief for the loss. Today’s 6-0 loss also marks the 9th time the Isles have been shut out this year.

The Islanders lose a game in hand, lose ground in the playoff race and are back below .500 as a result of today’s loss. Their offense needs to improve throughout their lineup and not crash and burn if J.T., P.A. or Moulson don’t play a strong game. Scoring remains a problem, as does the amount of turnovers and suspect play by the Islanders in their defensive game. They cannot afford to spot their opponent multiple goal leads early in the game.

Some might say after all is said and done, today’s loss only counts as one game and the Isles can change their luck in the next one. The problem is that I have seen this “one” game more than once this season by the New York Islanders and with each step forward they take, I can’t help but wonder how these meltdowns keep occurring.

Each of the guys in that locker room needs to be held accountable for their readiness to compete at the level necessary to win in this league. Each coach on the staff needs to be held accountable to make sure their team is as prepared as they can be to meet each opponent on the schedule for each game that is played.

Head Coach, Jack Capuano said the lack of physicality was a prime reason for today's falter against the Sens. I have mentioned this particular shortcoming as a major component for the Islanders’ struggles several times in my blog this season. Here is just one example. (

Simply put, the team continues to need more heart and soul in their game. They need to play their game and outwork their opponents with each and every shift. While they need more passion in their game, they need to control their emotion enough to avoid too many short-handed situations.

I believe they can do these things, but they are running out of time in more ways then one.

Isles Notes:

Head Coach, Jack Capuano also said Travis Hamonic is skating today at noon. Friday is possible, will have to see how he feels.

Arthur Staple reported that you could add Kyle Okposo to list of flu casualties. K.O. missed practice over the weekend, but played today. Lets hope it doesn’t rip through the locker room.

Coming into today’s game against Ottawa, the Islanders led the NHL with 1,001 blocked shots.

The NHL trade deadline only one week away.

The Islanders will face the Buffalo Sabers in Buffalo at 7:00pm tomorrow and the New York Rangers at the NVMC on Friday at 7:00pm.

Anders Nilsson got his North American pro shutout today as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers beat the Devils by a score of 3-0.

You can check in with Joe’s coverage of the Islanders on and follow him @Knight_of_Cups_ on Twitter.

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